Jesus announced and enacted in history the new reality of God’s surprising activity. These two stories demonstrate this new reality: Women and children are accepted and valued, not dismissed as inferior to adult men.
2Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” 3Jesus answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a husband to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10Then in the house the disciples asked Jesus again about this matter. 11He said to them, “Whatever man divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the dominion of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the dominion of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And Jesus took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.